McALESTER — Jumping from the Oklahoma Soccer Association’s “recreation” level to “recreation select” before this season, the McAlester Sonic Boom have played tougher teams this spring than ever before.
With the Sonic Boom’s performance at OSA Mazzio’s Italian Eatery Governor’s Cup on Saturday and Sunday in Tulsa, McAlester United’s under-12 club soccer team will have a chance at a state championship at this higher level.
The Sonic Boom went 2-1 at the Governor’s Cup, advancing to the May 10 state championship in Broken Arrow.
“The truest definition I can say of this team is they play soccer,” Sonic Boom coach Sean McKelvey said Tuesday. “It’s what you see on TV. Their spacing is really good, they move the ball well and they’re unselfish. They don’t care who scores. We score a lot of goals on corner kicks.”
McKelvey credited his team’s success to its depth and experience. That starts with defender Logan Gearheart.
“He’s also one of the captains on the team, and he does a real good job of keeping them organized,” McKelvey said of Gearheart. McKelvey added that Gearheart runs the defense so well that fellow defender James Long has been able to help out on offense and become one of the team’s leading scorers.
Connor Braswell has been another big scorer this season for the Sonic Boom, and the team has also benefited from goalkeeper Ayden Parent.
“Our midfield play has also been very well,” McKelvey said. “The kids have taken into the concept of bringing the ball down wide and then putting it back in the middle.”
The Sonic Boom beat the Broken Arrow Force twice, 4-2 and 2-1, at the Governor’s Cup, but lost 3-2 to Collinsville. The Sonic Boom will play Collinsville in the championship.
McKelvey said the Sonic Boom’s cover defense will be key to beating Collinsville on May 10.